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Beach Closings: 9 Days and Counting

oakland beach photo

Save the Sound reports that 10 Long Island Sound Beaches in Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, and Rye were closed on Wednesday and have been closed for a total of 9 days this summer due to polluted stormwater.  The ten beaches are:

  • Harbor Island Park, Beach Point Club, Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club, Shore Acres and Orienta Club in Mamaroneck
  • Hudson Park, Echo Bay Club, Davenport Club and Greentree Club in New Rochelle
  • Coveleigh Club in Rye

Beach closures are based on the amount of rainfall. The health department website says:

Greater than 1/2 inch of rain = 1 day closure
Greater than 1 inch of rain = 2 day closure
Greater than 2 inches of rain = to be determined

According to Tom Andersen, New York Program and Communications Coordinator for Save the Sound, “Many sewers throughout Westchester County are in disrepair, so stormwater infiltrates the pipes and forces out sewage before it can reach treatment plants. The sewage-laden stormwater then flows into local waterways toward the Sound and its harbors and beaches. In addition, all around Long Island Sound, rain can overwhelm wastewater treatment systems or wash pollutants off local streets and into the waterways that flow toward the Sound.”

Last year, for the ten beaches listed above, there were a total of 112 beach day closings for the whole summer. This summer we have already had 90 beach day closing for the same beaches, according to Andersen.

Polluted stormwater runoff in Westchester– both on the Sound and on the Hudson– is probably the greatest threat to water quality in our area. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), says that 40% of U.S. water bodies do not meet water quality standards, and the leading source of water quality impairment is polluted stormwater runoff.

To find out which beaches are open or other information, check these web pages for public and private  beaches with phone numbers.

photo: Oakland Beach by June Marie Sobrito

Joyce Newman
Joyce Newman
Joyce H. Newman is an Emmy Award-winning environmental journalist, educator, and gardener. She holds a Certificate in Horticulture from The New York Botanical Garden, and is a tour guide there.
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